Food News

Chefs’ top restaurant picks for 2013

Ever wondered what restaurants top our nation's chefs' must-visit lists? We did, so we asked them.

Clockwise from top left: Attica's Ben Shewry, Sean Brock of Husk, Jason and Anthony Lui of Flower Drum and René Redzepi of Noma.

Twenty years ago, if you’d asked Australia’s chefs to name the restaurants they’d most like to visit, chances are you’d have ended up with a list that was almost exclusively French. Here’s where our top chefs want to eat today.

Stuart Bell, Ten Minutes by Tractor, Main Ridge

The Square, London

The Ledbury, London

Michael Wignall at the Latymer, Surrey

I was over [in London] last year and these are the restaurants I ate at and really enjoyed the food. They’re all very tasty, very modern and very produce-driven. Not hocus-pocus but just tasty, good food.

David Chang, Momofuku Seiobo

I’m going to keep it to America. My picks are Trenchermen by Mike Sheerin. Mike was a chef at WD-50 and then Blackbird, in Chicago. Saison, Josh Skenes’ new place in San Francisco, and Wylie Dufresne’s casual new place, Alder, which will be doing [his] old 71 Clinton food, which is arguably the best.

Darren Robertson, Three Blue Ducks, Sydney

Husk, Nashville: I like his style of food. It’s Southern, smoky and curing meats, and also his support for local farmers and seed saving, and his general interest in the land.

Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden: I love that kind of old-school, hunting and cooking over wood and fire, almost like Neanderthal-style cooking. He’s such a clever guy, really intelligent use of fermenting food and preserving for the colder months of the year.

The Sportsman, Kent, UK: Unpretentious, really honest food, making everything from scratch – charcuterie, butter, going to the ocean, collecting seawater and making his own sea salt, curing the pork. I’ve never heard a bad word about any of the places and can’t wait to go and check them out.

Michael Ryan, Provenance, Beechworth

Jimbocho Den, Tokyo: There are some great chefs in Tokyo with Yoshihiro Narisawa, Seiji Yamamoto at RyuGin, and chef Zaiyu Hasegawa at Jimbocho Den is up and coming. He’s very creative and it’s based on a kaiseki format, which can be very serious. What you don’t get in kaiseki restaurants is a sense of fun – Den’s kind of quirky and unique but also has a really great depth of knowledge of cooking and it’s very exciting.

Husk, Charleston: I know very little about Southern American cooking. I’d like to see that part of the world. Also, as a double bonus, Aaron Turner’s over there so I can see him while I’m at it.

Le Chateaubriand, Paris: I guess because it’s in Paris, really, and that it’s part of that whole new movement of that “nuevo bistro” thing, away from the three-Michelin-star grandeur and more about the food.

Beau Vincent, Subo, Newcastle

Sepia, Sydney

Sixpenny, Sydney

Three Blue Ducks, Sydney

I worked with all those guys at Tetsuya’s and I was interested to see their take on restaurants when they opened their own. They’re all very talented chefs. I really liked Oscillate Wildly [when Daniel Puskas and James Parry were there] and was keen to check out Sixpenny to see what they’re doing there. I know James Parry did a bit of time at Noma. We went to Sepia when it first opened, but I’d like to see what they’re doing now as well because it’s the same kind of style I’m interested in – the French and Japanese kind of twist. And for Three Blue Ducks, what we’re doing here at Subo is a modern take on a bistro and they’re doing a modern take on a café/bistro so I was interested to see what they were doing.

Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz, Porteño, Sydney

Guisados, East LA

Joe Beef, Montreal

Dario Cecchini’s Officina della Bistecca and Dario DOC, Chianti

Scott Pickett, Estelle, Melbourne

Bones, Paris

Corton, New York

The Ledbury, London

Ross Lusted, The Bridge Room, Sydney

Henne Kirkeby Kro, Henne, Denmark

Benu, San Francisco

Estelle, Melbourne

Peter Doyle, Est., Sydney

Michel Bras, Laguiole

The Willows Inn, Lummi Island (near Seattle)

In De Wulf, Belgium

Neil Perry, Rockpool

Longjing Caotang, Hangzhou

Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo

Yu’s Family Kitchen, Chengdu

Ben Shewry, Attica, Melbourne

Town, Bangalow

Three Blue Ducks, Sydney

Provenance, Beechworth

Daniel Puskas , Sixpenny, Sydney

Ester, Chippendale

10 William St, Paddington

Mugaritz, San Sebastián, because it’s the best – well, I think, anyway.

Martin Benn, Sepia, Sydney

Maaemo, Oslo

Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld

Dabbous, London

Maurice Terzini, Icebergs, Sydney

The Apollo, Sydney

Café Di Stasio, Melbourne

Icebergs, Sydney

Peter Gilmore, Quay, Sydney

In De Wulf, Belgium

Mathias Dahlgren, Stockholm

Matt Moran, Aria, Sydney

Sepia, Sydney

Vue de Monde, Melbourne

The Bridge Room, Sydney

Jeremy Strode, The Fish Shop, Sydney

Mark Hix’s Fish Dog food truck and Tramshed restaurant, London

Anything new by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, London

Outlaw’s at the Capital Hotel, London

Kylie Kwong, Billy Kwong, Sydney

Noma, Copenhagen

Restaurant DOM, São Paulo

Murgaritz, San Sebastián

Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden

(Kylie Kwong discusses her favourite restaurants for 2013 here.)

Alessandro Pavoni, Ormeggio, Sydney

Sixpenny, Sydney

Tomislav, Sydney

Esquire, Brisbane

Cameron Matthews,The Long Apron, Qld

The Fat Duck, Bray

Attica, Melbourne

Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld

Pablo Tordesillas, Ortiga, Brisbane

Azurmendi, Bizkaia, Basque Country

Willows Inn, Lummi Island (near Seattle)

Loam, Victoria

Nick Holloway, Qld

Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden

Husk Restaurant, Charleston

And a whole bunch of pie and cake at Momofuku Milk Bar, New York

Ben Russell, Aria Brisbane, Brisbane

Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo

Joe Beef, Montreal (I love anyone who cooks in flannel)

Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden

Hajime Horiguchi, Wasabi, Noosa

Shintaro, Tokyo

Tomoe, Kyoto

Torihei, Osaka

Alejandro Cancino, Urbane, Brisbane

Tetsuya’s, Sydney

Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld

RyuGin, Tokyo

Zac Ronayne, Petaluma’s Bridgewater Mill, SA

Penfolds Magill Estate (when it reopens, it will surely make some noise), SA

Momofuku, Sydney

Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld

Ayhan Erkoc, Celsius, Adelaide

Marque, Sydney

Loam, Drysdale

Sixpenny, Sydney

Dan Hunter, Brae

RyuGin, Tokyo

L’Arpège, Paris (this thankfully happened two weeks ago)

Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden

Shannon Bennett, Vue de Monde, Melbourne

Michel Bras Toya Japon, Japan

Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo

Attica, Melbourne

Matt Germanchis, Pei Modern, Melbourne

Quay, Sydney

Garagistes, Hobart

Attica, Melbourne

George Calombaris, Gazi, Melbourne

Kiki’s, Mykonos

Restaurant DOM, São Paulo

Noma, Copenhagen

Andrew McConnell, Cutler & Co., Melbourne

Bones, Paris

Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden

Sixpenny, Sydney

Adam D’Sylva, Tonka, Melbourne

Sarong, Bali

Café Spice Namasté, London

Flower Drum, Melbourne

Guy Grossi, Grossi Florentino, Melbourne

Arzak, San Sebastián

Le Calandre, Padua

Shake Shack, New York City

Geoff Lindsay, Dandelion, Melbourne

Ortiga, Brisbane

Loam, Drysdale

Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney

Justin Wise,The Point, Melbourne

Quay, Sydney

Flower Drum, Melbourne

Provenance, Beechworth

Teage Ezard, Ezard, Melbourne

Noma, Copenhagen

Restaurant DOM, São Paulo

The Ledbury, London

Kiren Mainwaring, Dear Friends, Perth

Blue Hill at Stone Barns, New York

Tickets, Barcelona

Tyddyn Llan, North Wales

Hadleigh Troy, Restaurant Amusé, Perth

Burnt Enz, Singapore

Le Sergent Recruteur, Paris

Atera, New York

Darrell Felstead, Foveaux, Sydney

The Ledbury, London

Ryan Squires, Esquire, Brisbane

Frantzén, Stockholm

Diner, New York

Maaemo, Oslo

James Viles, Biota, Bowral

Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden

Atelier Amaro, Warsaw

Restaurant DOM, São Paolo

Guillaume Brahimi, Guillaume at Bennelong, Sydney

Monopole, Sydney

Flower Drum, Melbourne

Three Blue Ducks, Sydney

Christine Manfield, NSW

Narisawa, Tokyo

Brooks, Melbourne

View Point Restaurant, Burma

James Hird, Buzo, Sydney

Garagistes, Hobart

Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney

Pearl’s Diner, Adelaide

Vince LaMontagna, Vincenzo’s Cucina Vera, Adelaide

A wood-fired baby lamb in Ribera del Duero, Spain

Mozzarella in Campania

Night offerings at John Hounslow-Robinson’s place in Tasmania

David Moyle, The Stackings, Tasmania

Osteria Francescana, Modena

Restaurant DOM, São Paulo

Bones, Paris

Paul Wilson, chef, Melbourne

Dainty Sichuan, Melbourne

Press, Adelaide

Garagistes, Hobart

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